The gist of it was that, in volatile times, long-term strategic planning is not only impossible but undesirable. When you’re navigating rough seas, you have to be able to re-assess, adapt and change course on a dime. That big five-year-plan brick-of-a-document that you paid your consultants tons of cash to print and bind in ad nauseum quantities is as relevant as a hundred-year-old map of the great plains. When the landscape is shifting, implementing plans carved in stone is like driving directly into a brick wall because your GPS says the wall shouldn’t be there.
Ironically, this is the environment that Gen Xers know best. Instability. Unpredictability. Sudden change.
Don’t get me wrong; I, too, love it when a plan comes together. But like many, I have lost faith in the power of long-term plans. That’s just not the reality I have lived. I have been on so many paths that ended abruptly that it doesn’t even strike me as odd anymore. No, you can’t run a business or a career moment-to-moment and expect to achieve any particular goals; but over-analyzing, over-planning and over-documenting a long-term strategy is the professional equivalent of navel-gazing.
Set your sights high; know your overall objectives; re-assess, adapt your strategy; implement. Repeat.
That seems to be the new-fangled way of doing things.